Aminosalicylates are the mainstay of therapy to prevent relapse of quiescent ulcerative colitis.
The rationale for using probiotics is based on the evidence implicating intestinal bacteria in the pathogenesis of this disorder.
Professor Gasbarrini and colleagues from Italy evaluated the efficacy of Lactobacillus GG in ulcerative colitis.
The research team also assessed the efficacy of this probiotic in combination with mesalazine vs mesalazine as maintenance treatment in ulcerative colitis.
The team randomized 187 ulcerative colitis patients with quiescent disease to 3 different groups.
Group 1 received Lactobacillus GG 18 × 109 viable bacteria/day, and included 65 patients.
Group 2 included 60 patients who received mesalazine 2400 mg/day.
Group 3 had 62 patients that received Lactobacillus GG with mesalazine.
Disease activity index, endoscopic and histological scores were determined at 0, 6 and 12 months and in case of relapse.
|Lactobacillus GG compared with mesalazine prolongs relapse-free time|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The research team's primary end point was to evaluate sustained remission.
Overall analysis showed no difference in relapse rate at 6, and 12 months among the 3 treatment groups.
However, the team found that Lactobacillus GG seems more effective than standard treatment with mesalazine in prolonging the relapse-free time.
Professor Gasbarrini's team comments, “Lactobacillus GG seems to be effective and safe for maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis, and it could represent a good therapeutic option for preventing relapse in this group of patients.”